What are head lice?
The head louse, or Pediculus humanus capitis, is a parasitic insect that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. Head lice feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. Head lice are not known to spread disease.
Who is at risk for getting head lice?
Head lice are found worldwide. In the United States, infestation with head lice is most common among pre-school children attending child care, elementary schoolchildren, and the household members of infested children. Although reliable data on how many people in the United States get head lice each year are not available, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age. In the United States, infestation with head lice is much less common among African-Americans than among persons of other races, possibly because the claws of the of the head louse found most frequently in the United States are better adapted for grasping the shape and width of the hair shaft of other races.
Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person is uncommon. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
More from the CDC about lice: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/
Flu Season is Here
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend all children ages 6 months and older receive a flu shot. Every year the flu is very unpredictable but the precautions to decrease exposure remain the same.
Here are some recommendations by the CDC:
- Encourage students, parents, and staff to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Encourage students and staff to stay home when sick.
- Encourage respiratory etiquette among students-frequent handwashing and to cover the cough
- Encourage students and staff to keep their hands away from their nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Encourage routine surface cleaning
Please go to www.cdc.gov for more information
Healthy lunches and snacks are important for active children. It is important to offer healthy lunch box choices. Tips include fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables and a combination of protein, dairy and carbohydrate foods.
Eating healthy food helps children concentrate and learn. However, healthy eating changes are not always easy to make. Try to set a good example with your own lunches. Encourage children to help choose and prepare their own lunch. They might like to make a list of the foods they enjoy. Praise your child when they choose healthy foods for their lunch box.
There are many resources with ideas for healthy lunchbox ideas-please use the links below for more information:
Sleep-It is so important to our well being. Establishing a routine with enough down time is beneficial for growth and development. Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
Here is a comprehensive resource from the CDC:
Most childhood poisoning happens in the home with an adult nearby. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations on how to keep children safe: